Our approach to sustainable web design focuses on building efficient websites. Efficiently built websites load quickly, and a fast loading website is good for business. In this article, we delve into the crucial relationship between page speed and SEO, exploring how this powerful combination can boost your online presence.
Google’s Stance on Page Speed
Google has long recognised the significance of page speed in determining search rankings. Over a decade ago, the tech giant declared site speed as a ranking factor for desktop searches in a 2010 blog post. In 2018, it extended this criterion to encompass mobile searches, even penalising slow-loading websites. In 2021, Google introduced Core Web Vitals, incorporating the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metric—closely tied to page load speed—as a ranking factor. The company’s switch to mobile-first indexing further accentuates the necessity for swift-loading websites.
Underlining these views Google has provided a suite of valuable tools to help optimise page speed:
- Lighthouse helps assess a website’s page speed, along with other factors like accessibility, SEO, and best practices, to help optimise web pages for faster loading times.
- PageSpeed Insights analyses a website’s page speed and provides suggestions for improving it, helping enhance web page performance and user experience.
- Chrome User Experience Report is a public dataset provided by Google that collects and provides data on real-world user experience metrics, such as page load times, to help optimise web pages for faster load times and better user engagement.
User Experience & SEO
Improving page speed is an important part of enhancing user experience on your site. A good user experience benefits your brand and business, it encourages users to stay longer, convert into customers, and return frequently. This can also lead to improved search rankings. Google’s algorithms examine different user actions and page speed measurements to evaluate a website’s overall user experience and quality. By optimising page speed, you can create a smooth browsing experience that can help boost your search engine rankings.
On the other hand, poor user experience, such as slow site speed, can lead to visitors leaving your site prematurely, resulting in a high bounce rate. According to Semrush, the likelihood of a bounce increases nearly threefold if your page takes longer than three seconds to load.
Page speed plays a crucial role in both user experience and SEO. Google’s emphasis on page speed as a ranking factor, alongside the introduction of Core Web Vitals and mobile-first indexing, highlights the need for fast-loading websites. A focus on page speed can not only enhance your website’s performance but contribute to a more sustainable and efficient web presence.